Barchester has launched a new pilot Apprenticeship pathway to nursing, working with the Open University. The programme includes an Open University access programme with the chance for high achieving Apprentices to develop a rewarding career as part of the care provider's talented nursing team. This innovative Apprenticeship is offered to school leavers who are passionate about gaining hands-on nursing experience in a supportive and integrated care setting while achieving their qualifications to become the next generation of health and social care nurses. The Apprenticeship into nursing is an alternative to the A level route and gives people the chance to earn along the way to gaining a qualification. Individuals learn and develop in different ways and this offers a more practical approach for those keen to learn on the job in the environment they will eventually work in when fully qualified. The pathway is an easy one with three steps: Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care, access course programme with Open University and Nurse training programme. Trish Morris-Thompson, Director of Quality and Clinical Governance at Barchester, said: “I’m a nurse who followed a very traditional route into nursing and that worked well for me. Throughout my career, I have met so many great nurses from very different walks of life and I think it is fantastic that we can offer another pathway into the profession, which has added flexibility and the benefit of earning an income along the way.” As a testament to those who successfully complete the Apprenticeship and complete the pathway to the Open University programme, Barchester is considering contributing to their higher education fees as a thank you for their commitment to becoming a nurse. Dr Terry Tucker, Director of Organisational Development and Hospitality at Barchester, added: "We are a great company to work for and have made the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work for list for the sixth time. Nurturing and retaining great staff is important to us and by offering these fantastic nursing opportunities we hope to attract top nursing talent, support staff to qualify as nurses and offer excellent nursing roles back within the Barchester fold." To begin a nursing career with Barchester, applicants will need to have GCSE maths and English, a passion for working with people and great communication skills.